Weekly News Bulletin: Aug. 12-18, 2009


TVA to Phase out Use of Wet Storage at Coal-Fired Power Plants

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has decided to phase out the remainder of its "wet" coal ash disposal sites, particularly in lieu of the catastrophic spill last year and because there have been technological improvements in "dry" disposal. CEO Tom Kilgore said before a congressional subcommittee hearing that the utility has developed a five-year plan to shift waste from its five remaining wet storage facilities to dry landfill disposal. The "wet" storage facilities are landfills that act essentially as ponds into which coal ash from power plants are dumped and stored. One such facility, the Kingston Fossil Plant in Kingston, TN, gave way last December, covering more than 300 acres in more than a billion gallons of ash, which can contain heavy metals like selenium, lead, arsenic and radium. By contrast, dry storage is very similar to traditional landfilling. During the July 28 hearing EPA waste chief Mathy Stanislaus said the agency is reviewing its regulations for surface impoundments...Read More »



Sen. Harkin Proposes to Ease EPA GHG Rules for Corn Ethanol

Senate agriculture committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) is considering altering the greenhouse gas (GHG) provisions in EPA's renewable fuel standard (RFS) to allow corn ethanol to qualify as an advanced biofuel amid resistance in Congress. One possible caveat would be a requirement that it must reduce GHG emissions through its production techniques or by burning biomass or corn stover to run the refinery. The push by the ethanol and biodiesel industry for congressional action to promote conventional biofuels is intensifying as EPA is now crafting rules to implement the RFS. The 2007 energy law set a new RFS mandate that requires refiners to blend 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels into the nation's fuel supply by 2022. Corn ethanol is capped at 15 billion gallons per year, and the rest of the standard is to be met by categories of cellulosic, biomass-based and advanced biofuels...Read More »



Former Carting Company Defendants Sentenced to Prison for Fraud Scheme

Two more defendants were sentenced yesterday for their roles in a racketeering conspiracy orchestrated by trash kingpin James Galante to control the hauling industry in Connecticut through a so-called "property rights" scheme that included the use of mob muscle to enforce compliance to keep prices high and prevent competition. Ronald Zollo, 51, of Highland Mills, NY, was fined $25,000 and will serve three years on probation on charges of conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The second defendant, Timothy Arciola, 38, who is serving 15 months in prison for racketeering conspiracy, will spend another 21 months behind bars for mail fraud. Arciola, a former salesman at two of the companies at the center of the scheme - Automated Waste Disposal and Superior Waste Disposal, was accused of diverting a portion of payments made by customers to himself. Zollo, who had been the controller for several of Galante's enterprises, helped his boss evade taxes by preparing fraudulent expense checks and helped him circumvent pay caps for his local hockey team by placing either team members or their wives in no-show jobs at the companies...Read More »



Aluminum Can Recycling Reached 54.2 Percent in 2008

Americans recycled 54.2% of their aluminum cans last year, the highest rate for any beverage container and a slight improvement over the previous year's rate of 53.8%. The results were announced by the Aluminum Association, Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI). Aluminum Association President Kevin Anton attributed the success to technological and process improvements. "A can that is recycled can be back on the store shelf in as little as 60 days."...Read More »



WeRecycle! Emerges From Chapter 11 Restructuring

Electronic waste and recycling services provider WeRecycle! announced that it has emerged from restructuring under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code thanks to an investment by Hugo Neu Corp. which is now the largest shareholder in the new company. The amount of the investment was not disclosed. Mick Schum will stay on as president of WeRecycle! LLC, while Gina Chiarella will continue to serve as executive vice president. "We believe the newly restructured WeRecycle! LLC is perfectly positioned to continue our growth and expansion in the months and years to come," said Schum. "This new investment by Hugo Neu Corp. will provide new opportunities to build upon our record of excellence in IT asset recovery and e-waste recycling."...Read More »



Company Adapts Space Technology to Detect Methane Leaks from Landfills

An Edmonton, Alberta company hopes to apply adapted space technology to detecting methane leaks from landfills and other sources. Behind the effort is a company called Synodon and its chief scientific officer Boyd Tolton who developed an infrared imaging technology while at the Canadian Space Agency. It uses infrared and a 30-centimetre custom-made lens to capture the solar reflected radiation of methane and ethane. Mounting the device on an aircraft would cover a lot of ground in short order. According CEO Adrian Branica, the device could see nearly "100% of leaks from 1,000 feet at 100 kilometres an hour. And it's much more cost effective than people on the ground covering two-metre swaths with hand detectors. It sees the gas like a camera so wind is not a factor."...Read More »



Perma-Fix Reports 28% Increase in Second Quarter Revenue

Perma-Fix Environmental Services reported a 28.1% increase in second quarter revenue, bolstered in large part by a contract with the Department of Energy (DOE) that commenced in October of last year. According to company CEO Dr. Louis F. Centofanti, the gains were offset by lower revenue from remaining generators due to lower volumes of waste; a direct result of the economy. For example, revenue from the industrial segment decreased 27.4% to $1.96 million in the second quarter from $2.7 million in the corresponding period last year. Dr. Centofanti concluded, "Looking ahead, we anticipate a strong second half of 2009, due to the improved DOE budgets, our new treatment processes, as well as our onsite work at the DOE's Hanford Site. We remain focused on continued organic growth, leveraging our fixed costs to maximize earnings, as well as utilizing our cash flow to further improve our balance sheet."...Read More »



Avalon Holdings Slips to Second Quarter Loss

Avalon Holdings said that second quarter revenue slipped to $8.4 million from $11.7 million last year. The company recorded a net loss for the quarter of $.3 million, or ($0.07) per share compared with net income of $.3 million, or $0.07 per share last year. Avalon provides waste management services to industrial, commercial, and governmental customers in various northeastern and Midwestern markets...Read More »


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